Prime Minister Hun Sen cancelled his trip to attend two summits in Busan, the Republic of Korea from November 24 to 27 as his mother-in-law is seriously ill.
“Now, I am in a difficult situation because my beloved mother-in-law is in a critical condition. This incident happened when I was preparing to leave for the Asean-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit and First Mekong-Republic of Korea Summit,” Hun Sen said on his Facebook page on Saturday.
“To fulfil a duty as a son [son-in-law], I have no option but to say sorry to [Korean] President Moon Jae-in and His Excellency Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is the president of Asean, and other Asean leaders for my absence in these important meetings.
“Deputy Prime Minister Prak Sokhonn will represent me in these two summits,” he said.
Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Sok Eysan said on Sunday: “She is 97 years old and senile.
“I have no other information but am only aware of what Samdech wrote on Facebook, saying his mother-in-law is in a critical condition. He could not go anywhere but stay [in Cambodia] to support his mother-in-law,” she said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn led a delegation to attend the two summits in Busan which would take place from Monday to Wednesday.
Cambodian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Long Dimanche said the summits would go on as planned with Sokhonn attending on behalf of Hun Sen.
“Cambodia and Korea are working on promoting our relationship to be a comprehensive strategic partnership to strengthen potential cooperation, investment and trade,” he said.
“Now, we are underway to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership for both countries. We have yet to reach that level, but are already working with each other in many sectors.
“We think that a comprehensive strategic partnership can be built soon as Asean member states are in line with the New Southern Policy of Korea,” he said.
A press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday said the prime minister was supposed to deliver his speech on the future of achieving regional integration, and sustainable development in politics, security, economy, society and culture.
Prior arrangements said Hun Sen would have also delivered a speech on the New Southern Policy.
“These two summits will mark another important milestone to further the Cambodia-Korea, Asean-Korea and the Mekong countries-Korea partnership for these nations’ tangible benefits and prosperity,” said the press release.